A/N: This story takes place a few years after Season 3 ends.
I decided to attempt another story that I didn't agonize over every detail. This is my Christmas story for (hopefully) your reading enjoyment. Merry Christmas - May all your wishes come true.
The young man sighs as he looks out from the back seat of the car. One advantage of having a driver is that he gets time to work when he is on his way to and from the office and on nights like tonight, he can look out and see the scenery without worrying about getting into a multicar wreck. A little absently he looks at all the Christmas lights and decorations on the houses, store fronts and along the streets.
He doesn't hate this time of year; it's just he has never really had a reason to celebrate the holiday season either. The Christmases from his childhood were full of public relations opportunities for his parents. He hated the lack of privacy, the perfect decorations on the perfect tree celebrated by the perfect Hollywood family. In reality the public façade was better than what was behind the scenes; it is true what they say in that there is increased domestic and child abuse during the holidays. Of course the phony perfect family and the ugly, painful underbelly all ended his last year of high school when his mother jumped off the Coronado Bridge and his father was murdered.
During his on again, off again relationship with Veronica, he had never dated her over Christmas so he never experienced a family Christmas. In fact since high school, he has always travelled over Christmas. It was lonely but at least he wasn't sitting in the Neptune Grand or his mansion in LA thinking about missing Veronica. Instead he was in Aspen skiing and partying and missing Veronica or lately he has been in New York partying and missing Veronica.
Deep inside, he still sees her as 'the one.' She is the one who got away; the one he has the most regrets over; and, leaving the best for last, his one true love. After she transferred to Virginia, he sent her a parcel. It was a stunning diamond necklace and earring set. He doubts she has any idea how much it costs. In the note he asked her to accept it and told her that if she ever wanted the matching ring, she just had to tell him she was ready. He told her he would be waiting.
She telephoned him and told him she couldn't accept the beautiful jewelry and she definitely wasn't ready for a relationship with him. She was looking ahead and leaving him behind. He was reminded of that stupid saying about if you really loved someone, you had to set them free and if they came back they were yours and if they didn't, they were never yours to begin with. He is pretty sure that some hippy came up with that profound piece of truthfulness when he or she was high. He keeps thinking that someday he is going to look up who first came up with that saying. If whoever it is still lives, he may drive over and punch him or her out.
He had refused to accept the necklace and earrings back. He basically told Veronica he would just keep sending it to her. He chose it for her and it was hers no matter what happened between them in the future.
He thinks she agreed to put the jewels in a safety deposit box just to get him off the phone. The good thing about that phone call was that he got the chance to tell her how he really felt and he didn't waste it. He laid everything on the line telling her she was the one for him and he would never marry anyone but her. Finally he told her he had the matching ring and he would keep it in his safe, waiting for her.
It had been an uncomfortable, but surprisingly healthy conversation. She told him that she did not see that their relationship was good for either of them. She did admit that she wanted to keep in touch with him but other than that, she couldn't promise anything.
Since that time, they had exchanged telephone calls and emails. She was doing well in the FBI and spent a lot of time travelling overseas. She was pleased he graduated, moved to LA and started his business.
He has followed her career and he is not surprised that she has done well. She is rising up the ranks quickly and is making a name for herself. He doesn't even want to know the close calls she has had. He only hopes that her partner can protect her and that one day he doesn't get the call from Keith Mars that Veronica was injured or god forbid, killed in the line of duty.
Veronica calls when she closes a big case and is excited. She is good at solving puzzles. Combine the gadgets and support she has being a part of a prominent government agency with her unnatural curiosity and bullshit radar and the result is a lot of bad guys are in jail and there is some justice for the victims and their loved ones.
Surprisingly, Veronica also calls when cases do not go as well. Although she can't tell him names or places, he listens sad that there isn't a good outcome for the world. Those are the times he wishes he could hold her and support her.
Still he stops himself from flying to see her and he tells her about his business and lately he tells her about his decision to expand the business. He is particularly nervous about the expansion. He has had endless meetings and read equally endless research on possible cities and then sights for his new offices. He's a charismatic leader but hidden under the outer confident facade, is a man who definitely feels the weight and responsibility of ownership. He worries about his employees. Right now he has fifty employees through his business and that will expand to eighty at the start of next year. By next summer he will have over 200 employees working for Lester Enterprises. Making decisions that affect the futures of that many people is daunting. His mistakes could cost a lot of people their security and affect the financial futures of his employees and their families.
Tonight he is headed to a celebration; the company Christmas banquet and dance. It is a formal affair but there won't be speeches and awards. It is a fun evening out for people he respects; people who sacrifice and work hard. He is footing the bill. There will be good food, good spirits and good music for them to enjoy. He has a car company that picks up the guests and will take them home as well. There will be no drunk driving accidents to mar this night of thanks and celebration.
Although he is headed to a party, he does not feel in a happy mood. He puts his head back on the plush seat and closes his eyes. It's the time of year; people are buying gifts for their loved ones, planning parties with friends and neighbors and rushing home to spend time with their families. He always feels a little down at this time of year. When he was younger it was a crippling time for him and he hid himself away and drank himself into oblivion. It didn't work and it cost him the love of his life so now he just goes away as soon as he can. This year he and Dick are going to another place on their 'must surf before they die' list.
Dick has not changed. He still parties hard and enjoys the lifestyle of a rich bachelor. Logan is busy at work and only sees Dick infrequently. The bachelor lifestyle is not his first choice; he is seen at a lot of the in clubs and restaurants with beautiful women but he does not date anyone steady.
He knows it is pathetic but he wants to be free if Veronica decides to come back to him. The odds are not good for that but really what are the odds of a guy with his background graduating college and starting a successful business. He has been working as many hours as her; perhaps more.
He is still ready for her but until she is ready to be with him, he will have to focus on his professional goals. At night when he is alone, he thinks about her and he dreams of what his life would be like if she came back to him. Right now he is half alive, but he has come to accept that is all he may ever be. Yes, he knows that is pathetic but it is all he has.
When the car stops, Logan gets out and walks into the hotel. He is wearing a new black suit with a green shirt and Christmas tie. The photographer the company hired to take pictures at the party is there and takes his picture. He has made it a point to attend celebrations for his business without a date. Work is very important to him and he it doesn't feel right to share his professional dream with a woman who doesn't matter to him.
The head of security for the night nods at him as he walks into the ballroom. Logan uses his security firm at all his parties. He wants to ensure that the mood of the party is not affected by party crashers. His assistant is already there and Logan notices she is talking to the party planner his firm hired. Logan looks around at the Christmas trees and decorations and has to admit that the planner has done an excellent job. It looks very elegant and festive.
An hour into the party, one of the security guards finds Logan and tells him that a woman is at the door and she doesn't have an invitation. Logan looks at the man wondering why he is telling him about the woman. He has left explicit instructions that without identification and an invitation, no one is allowed in. The guard hands him a card and explains, "She was insistent that I give you this card."
Logan takes the small card noting that the outside of the card is blank. He opens it and his heart skips as she sees the familiar handwriting and the words "I'm ready."
The guard forgotten, Logan's eyes skip to the doorway of the ballroom. She is standing there looking stunning in a long green dress that is tight to her still tiny hips and waist. It is strapless showing off her muscular shoulders and arms. Her hair is shorter but long enough to be pulled back with an elegant diamond clasp. He immediately notices she is wearing the diamond earrings and necklace he bought her.
Across the room he meets her gaze and after a short pause, she gives him the questioning head tilt. He realizes that he is taking too long to go over to her. Smiling a little sheepishly at his poor manners, he excuses himself from the group he was talking to and walks over to stand in front of Veronica.
When he gets close he puts his hand over his heart and says, "Veronica, you look absolutely stunning!"
Smiling at his gallant greeting she steps closer and looks up at him. "You look even more handsome than I remember," she returns quietly.
Logan stands staring at her as if he can't believe she is there. Finally she breaks the silence, her voice unsure, "I hope it is OK that I crashed your party."
He puts out his hand and waits while she puts her in it. "It's great," he immediately assures her. Turning, he tucks her hand in his arm and walks with her escorting her into the ballroom.
Looking down at her he mildly comments, "You could have used your 'Federal get in free' credentials."
Shaking her head she tells him seriously, "Tonight I was hoping I could be the date of the CEO of the company." Correctly interpreting his questioning look she adds, "What? I know things."
He finds he is not surprised that she was able to find out he was not bringing a date tonight. Stopping their walk, he looks down and meets her gaze. She is caught in his warm brown eyes. She looks up at him her blue eyes questioning and unsure. He squeezes her hand in reassurance telling her, "I would be honored to have you as my date."
The couple, caught in each other's gaze, is unaware that they have become the center of attention. Although Logan is often in the entertainment news and tabloids, the beautiful woman he is with is a mystery. None of Logan's staff knows who she is but his manner with her is possessive and close. He obviously knows her well.
"Always the gentleman," she teases. Then she smiles and suggests, "Perhaps you could buy me a drink and then introduce me to all these wonderful, hard working employees you have been bragging about."
He continues his walk across the ballroom towards the bar with her. He smiles back and answers, "That is a good idea."
Part way across the large room he puts his hand over hers on his arm getting her attention. He questions, "After the party?"
"Are you asking me if I will put out?" she deadpans.
He can't help it, he laughs out loud. She always keeps him on his toes.
Squeezing the arm beneath her hand, she answers, "After the party, we will talk." She looks down and then looks up meeting his gaze she adds, "I am hoping that you are ready as well."
Looking at her Logan immediately understands what she is telling him. Inexplicitly Veronica is ready to resume dating him.
Her eyes are huge in her face. He can read the trepidation in them. He is deeply affected that she is not sure that he waited for her but she wants them enough to put herself out there. His eyes soften and he reassures, "I am still waiting."
She bites her lip holding in her emotions. After letting out a deep breath she says, "Then my wish for Christmas has come true."
He remembers how she was a huge sucker for Christmas wishes when they were younger. She used to make him, Lilly and Duncan write down their wish, put in a ball on the Christmas tree and she labeled each ball with their name and the year. She said that someday they would open the balls and get their wishes out and see if they did come true.
Incredibly touched, he tells her that it is fitting for her to say that because the theme of the party tonight is Christmas Dreams. He adds, "I hope both our dreams come true."
Softly she agrees, "Me too."
For a moment their eyes stay in contact and then he says, "Let's get you that drink. You have a lot of people to meet."
Nodding she says, "Looking forward to it."
When dinner is served, Veronica is surprised and impressed to find out there is no head table. He and the others in leadership roles are spread out amongst the employees at tables.
Logan and Veronica end up sitting with a woman named Cindy Brooke from the Human Resource Department and her husband Albert. Also sitting with them is Peter Weaver and his girlfriend Martha Rodriquez. Peter works in the Sales Department. Sitting next to Logan is Susan and Larry Gilbert who both work for Lester Enterprises. Larry is a security guard at the offices and Susan work at the plant in the paint department.
Logan easily introduces and Veronica to Larry and Susan as they arrived just in time for dinner. He quietly tells Veronica they have been with the company from the start and then introduces her as his date, Veronica Mars. Susan immediately recognizes the name and says excitedly, "You solved the Lilly Kane murder, the Bus Crash Murders and the Dean of Hearst College Murders."
Grimacing a little, Veronica says, "Actually my father and I solved those together." There is an awkward pause in the conversation and everyone begins to remember who Veronica is. She accused Logan's father of killing Logan's girlfriend Lilly Kane. She and Logan dated in high school and college. It is all coming back to them now.
Smoothly Logan says, "Well Veronica may have cut her teeth on local murders during high school and college, she is now a federal agent stationed out of Virginia."
The group around the table all looks impressed and intrigued. Veronica smiles and says, "Actually I recently transferred to the LA Division."
Logan looks at Veronica in question and she teases, "There is this man who I want to catch and he lives in LA."
The group at the table has to smile at the way she words her news.
"This man would be foolish to run from you," Logan comments. "Don't you agents always get your man?"
Peter smiles and joins in, "Most men don't run from a beautiful woman."
Albert asks, "How many beautiful woman have you had chase you?"
Taking his girlfriend's hand Peter admits, "I do most of the chasing."
The talk becomes general after the laughter. The food is served and the mood is relaxed and happy. It has been a good year at Lester Enterprises. Next year the firm is expanding and will quadruple in size. It is a time for celebration.
Logan leans into Veronica during a small break in the conversation and says quietly, "I think I have been chasing you our whole relationship."
Very quietly she points out, "Well now I have run across the country to you."
He looks a little surprised at her statement and agrees, "You have."
Tilting her head she says conversationally, "Are you one of those guys that likes to chase but doesn't really want to catch the woman?"
"No," he drawls, "You should slow down and let me catch you. You might be surprised at the result."
Now smiling a secret smile she says, "Perhaps you could show me after the party?"
"I definitely will," he promises.
The group at the table watching can see the comfort between their boss and Veronica Mars. He is constantly touching her and she is used to his touch. Their talk is filled with verbal shots and fun. Although she doesn't look like an FBI agent, she is obviously highly intelligent and when she focuses her blue eye on you, it is a little scary wondering what she is seeing and thinking. The women at the table can see that Logan is only interested in her. He keeps looking at her as if he is afraid she is a dream. Now that they know who the petit woman is, they can see that she is more than a date for Logan. She is absolutely, definitely a love interest. A love interest that interestingly has recently moved to LA.
When the music starts, Logan stands and puts his hand out for his date. He says, "May I have the pleasure of this dance?"
She smiles and teases, "OK but no dipping."
His smile widens and he volleys back, "I promise nothing."
Laughing a little she takes his hand and lets him pulls her up. They walk together to the middle of the dance floor and he pulls her close. Looking around he can see that the management team has also walked out and they are all dancing with their dates or spouses.
As he and Veronica move to the music he says, "It is really good to hold you again."
Batting her eyes flirtatiously, Veronica says, "I bet you say that to all the girls."
Shaking his head, he can't help but smile in amusement at her goofy manner. He spins with her as he says, "Only the short, blond, pesky ones that I could never forget."
She follows easily as he increases the complexity of their dance. They look good together and it is clear that they are used to dancing together. She laughs up at him and points out, "You could always dance circles around me."
He twirls her away and back and then tells her, "Prepare to be dipped." Sure enough a few beats later he does dip her. When he pulls her up into his arms again, they are both laughing. The group at his table watching starts to laugh that he would dip her after she expressedly asked him not to.
Near the end of their dance together, he asks, "Where are you staying?"
Smirking a little she tells him, "I rented an apartment not too far from the LA Headquarters." Pausing while he processes she has really moved to LA, she meets his gaze and adds quietly, "I signed a six month lease."
Sensing the importance of what she is telling him, he asks softly, "Will you be looking for somewhere else to live then?"
Holding his gaze she nods slowly, "I am looking for a roommate."
"Do you have specific criteria for this roommate?" he asks seriously.
Nodding solemnly, she says, "Oh yes!" She continues, "I am looking for a male roommate."
Logan looks at her in surprise.
"He has to be tall," she pauses and continues, "have dark hair and brown eyes."
She carries on listing her criteria, "He has to have a great sense of humor, be very intelligent, sexy, handsome…"
Biting her lip a little she continues to hold his gaze adding, "His smile must make my heart race; his kisses should make me feel weak and when he holds me, I have to feel safe."
She finishes seriously, "He has to be all of those things. I won't settle."
Logan focused on their conversation unconsciously slows their dance down to the point where they are barely moving and just looking at each other. He comments, "That is a tall order for one guy."
Squeezing his shoulder under her hand, she nods and she tells him, "I think there is only one guy who fits the bill."
Shaking his head at her proclamation, he says, "This is so surreal. Are you sure I am not dreaming?" Reaching up he caresses her cheek and tells her, "I have been hoping for this for so long."
Easing the deep emotions down in the public place, she gently teases, "Who says it's you? Your ego is so big."
His smile is huge and he goes back to dancing again. He says arrogantly, "Oh I know it's me."
It's her turn to laugh as he twirls her around to the music. When the music ends he hugs her and smiles down at her. With his natural charm and impeccable manners he escorts her back to their table. Then he politely asks Susan to dance. One of the managers from the next table asks Veronica to dance and she smiles her acceptance. The rest of the evening is duty dances, good conversation, good spirits and good fun.
At the end of the evening, each employee is given a thank you Christmas basket that has a bottle of champagne, some chocolates from a prominent LA company as well as other gourmet goodies from specialty companies around LA. In addition they are all given a gift card for one thousand dollars. One of the employees tells Veronica that they have the option to purchase stock twice a year.
They all thank Logan for the party. He tells them to enjoy their weekend and he will see them on Monday. They all smile and shake the hands of the management crew happily. They know he appreciates them and they love working for him.
Throughout the night Veronica has heard story after story of how hard Logan works and what a great boss he is. She is so proud of him.
When everyone except the staff hired to clean up has left, Logan takes Veronica's hand and raises it to his lips. He says dramatically, "Finally me time."
Veronica laughs. It has been a long but fun night. She says, "It was a great party."
Nodding he says, "I think a fun time was had by all." He gets her coat from the coat check and escorts her to his car. When the door of the car closes leaving them alone, Logan immediately pulls her into his arms. He leans down and kisses her. Veronica sinks into the kiss. God she has missed his kisses, his touch and his smell…. Him.
The driver looks in the rear view and smiles. He has driven Logan around for two years now and has felt bad for how alone his boss is. He doesn't look alone now though.
When they arrive at Logan's mansion, Veronica looks out and complains, "Logan I need to go home. I won't have anything to wear tomorrow."
Smirking Logan says, "Tomorrow won't be a problem."
Tilting her head up at him she cheekily tells him, "OK, but I have to start my new job on Monday."
Caressing her face he says, "That might be a problem." Quietly he adds, "I have been apart from you for a long time."
When the car stops, he gets out and opens the door thanking the driver telling him to enjoy his weekend off.
After the car drives off, Logan escorts Veronica into his mansion. He shows her around the main floor and then follows her into the kitchen listening as she tells him that they need to go and get some Christmas decorations. She turns towards him and says, "Tomorrow we should get a tree, lights and ornaments."
She stops her excited planning when he lifts her up and sits her on the counter. He stands in front of her and puts his hands on either side of her. Shaking his head he says, "We will go shopping and buy whatever decorations you want but not tomorrow."
Veronica looks at him with love in her eyes. She says, "One night I came home from a date and my roommate Jessica was home. She could see I was disappointed in how the evening went. She waved me over to the chair by the couch and asked me about the date."
Sighing a little she looks at his face which is very close to hers. "After I told her about the date, she frowned at me and said it didn't sound that bad; in fact, it sounded pretty good."
Logan watches her and listens carefully to her story. He knows instinctively this story is important.
"She asked me what I was looking for and as I thought about it, it hit me that I wanted him to have all the traits I love in you."
Reaching up she puts her hand on his shoulder and runs it in to his neck. "I knew then I was wasting time dating anyone else when all my heart wanted was you."
Leaning up she gently nuzzles his cheek with hers and whispers in his ear, "So I applied to transfer to LA, rented an apartment and moved here."
Kissing and breathing gently in his ear she finishes, "I hoped that you still felt the same and that if we dated for a few months, we could see if we were epic."
Logan smiles at her wording. He leans back, meets her gaze and shares, "I have been ready to try for a long time."
"I know," she sighs a little and adds, "When you sent me the necklace and earrings and told me you were waiting with the ring, I really thought I was ready to put us totally behind me. I thought I was ready to move on." Looking into his eyes, she says, "I found that I could never shut the door on you because you were always with me. I couldn't forget that you were waiting."
Taking his face in her hands she says, "When I realized that I wanted you, I knew it was my turn to put myself out there; to open the door and tell you that when you were ready, you could walk through it and I would be there waiting."
Gently caressing his cheek with her thumb she says formally, "So Logan, I have moved my career to LA and I am ready; waiting for you to let me know that you are ready to take the next step in our relationship."
Happiness lights up Logan's face and his eyes soften with his love for this tiny woman. She has come to him. She has told him she is ready to see if they can be together. It means the world to him. He is ready as well.
Over the next few months they will be together; see where the love they feel for each other takes them; see if they can be completely committed to each other. When he is sure, he will give her the ring that matches the necklace and earrings that look so wonderful on her.
She reaches back and undoes the back zipper of her dress. As it loosens, it falls to her waist exposing her to his darkening gaze. She murmurs, "I thought I would start with wearing my necklace and earrings to bed." She reaches up and puts her hand on the back of his head and pulls him towards her. She adds, "Just the necklace and earrings."
"Oh baby," is his only comment before she kisses him. He picks her up and carries her up the stairs towards his bedroom. When he sets her down and her silky dress falls to the floor, he takes in the amazing sight of the love of his life wearing only a diamond necklace, diamond earrings and sexy black heels.
He thinks that this is a really good start for them as he shrugs off his dinner jacket and reaches for his tie. For the first time Logan is looking forward to Christmas. He asks, "Do you still have that Santa hat you used to wear?"
Laughing she promises, "I'll get one when we go shopping." Reaching for him she says, "Now come here and we will discuss if you have been naughty or nice."